SXSW LANDS JOE BIDEN AS KEY­NOTE SPEAKER

For­mer vice pres­i­dent will dis­cuss his fam­ily’s can­cer ini­tia­tive.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Omar L. Gal­laga ogal­laga@states­man.com

For the sec­ond year in a row, South by South­west has landed a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal speaker and an­nounced it shortly be­fore the con­fer­ence. Last year, it was then-Pres­i­dent Barack Obama as a SXSW In­ter­ac­tive key­note.

This year, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden will come to the con­fer­ence for a 3:30 p.m. March 12 talk at the Austin Con­ven­tion Cen­ter that will be open to all SXSW reg­is­trants.

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent will dis­cuss the Biden can­cer ini­tia­tive, which he has been fo­cus­ing on since leav­ing the White House.

SXSW said Biden will “re­flect on the progress made un­der his lead­er­ship of the White House Can­cer Moon­shot; call for in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to tackle the bar­ri­ers that pre­vent faster gains in end­ing can­cer as we know it; and

de­scribe how he plans to re­main in the fight.”

Un­like last year’s Obama key­note, SXSW says it has no plans to livestream the talk as it hap­pens; in­stead, it plans to re­lease a video on its web­site af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion.

SXSW chief pro­gram­ming of­fi­cer Hugh For­rest said of the talk: “We’re ex­cited to have vice pres­i­dent Biden ad­dress the cre­ative in­no­va­tors and en­trepreneurs that at­tend SXSW. His com­mit­ment and lead­er­ship is cru­cial at a time when the smartest minds from the worlds of tech­nol­ogy and health care are work­ing to­gether to cre­ate ground­break­ing new so­lu­tions in the bat­tle to end can­cer.”

The talk is part of “Con­nect To End Can­cer,” a se­ries of Health Track panels on March 12 that SXSW is hold­ing in part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter, the AT&T Foundry for Con­nected Health and Merck & Co. Biden was in Austin as recently as Septem­ber for a pri­vate event.

This year’s SXSW prom­ises to have a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal bent with a track of panels focused on the Don­ald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s im­pact on tech and many top­ics that will likely fo­cus on the cur­rent state of gov­ern­ment.

CLIFF OWEN / AP 2016

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, whose son Beau died of brain can­cer in 2015, will speak as part of the “Con­nect To End Can­cer” se­ries of dis­cus­sions.

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